Better advice

EDITOR: "My Brother's Keeper" is a wonderful and important effort put forth by President Barack Obama ("Obama debuts plan for young minorities," Friday). Sadly, nowhere are all of the facts fully explained as to why young black men face "especially tough odds."

Obama would make more progress in his quest to improve conditions that keep young men of color impoverished and imprisoned in disproportionate numbers if he boldly stated the complete truth as to the reason for such disparity. The latest government statistics state that 72 percent of black babies born in the United States are born to unwed mothers.

NBC News recently reported that statistics show that children, of any race, born out of wedlock are more likely to perform poorly in school, go to prison, use drugs, be poor as adults and have their own children out of wedlock.

This may not be what is popular to say, but it makes complete sense. Perhaps rather than placing the blame on corporations and institutions, Obama should start by telling his "brothers" to stay in school and use contraceptives.

He should be urging all young people to pursue education, job, marriage and children in that order. That would help future generations overcome tough odds more than any measure suggested or imposed by the government.



Hunkered down

EDITOR: Supervisor Efren Carrillo is keeping to the code of the scoundrel — hire a good attorney, then hunker down and let it all blow over ("Carrillo peeking case still unresolved," Friday). He got away with the incident in San Diego where he actually hurt someone. He'll probably get away with this "peeking" incident by claiming he was asking for directions at 3 in the morning, clad only in his underwear.

He may have some sterling qualities, but he is simply not a man to be trusted. Bring him to trial; let a jury decide.



CalPERS pensions

EDITOR: I have been an employee of Sonoma State University for 30 years. When I started, retirement seemed a long way off. One of my associates was about to retire and showed me his 401(k) statement and encouraged me to save. The power of compound interest. There was no discussion at that time of "greedy state workers" or "pension spiking" or "state pensioners bankrupting cities, counties and the state." Today, I often read of the anger that some have, that is directed to those of us who have put in the time and contributed to our retirements.

This report — — shows that a larger portion of state monies is going toward corporate subsidies than to retirement obligations.

Like the pick-pocket who uses sleight of hand and distraction, the corporate beneficiaries' have portrayed that the state's fiscal challenges are the result of an over generous pension system. In fact, the state gives far more money and tax credits to corporations than employees.

And as far as CalPERS managing the peoples' money, no entity does it better. The CalPERS retiree receives a check in which three out of four dollars paid in retirement benefits come from investment earnings.